Jesus is stripped of his garments
V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
From the Gospel according to John 19:23
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom.
Jesus is at the soldiers’ mercy. As is the case with every condemned person, he is stripped to humiliate him, to reduce him to nothing. Indifference, contempt and disregard for the dignity of the human person here are joined to greed, covetousness and private interest: “They took his garments”.
How many people have suffered and continue to suffer because of this lack of respect for the human person, for their privacy. At times we too may not have shown the respect due to the personal dignity of our neighbours by being possessive of those closest to us, a child or a husband or a wife or a relative, someone we know or a stranger. In the name of our supposed freedom we impinge upon the freedom of others: how casual, how negligent we have been in our way of acting and treating one another!
Jesus, who let himself be exposed in this way to the eyes of the world of his time and to the eyes of mankind in every age, reminds us of the grandeur of the human person and the dignity which God gives to each man and woman; nothing and no one should violate this dignity, for we are made in the image of God. Ours is the task of promoting respect for the human person and for his or her body. In particular, the spouses among us have been given the task of uniting these two fundamental and inseparable realities: personal dignity and complete self-giving.
Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
Sancta Mater, istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.
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